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Encampment at the Museumplein

26 March 2006 – About twenty young people have spent last night in small tents at the Museumplein, to express their solidarity with the Belarus opposition. Tomorrow at 3 pm a demonstration will be held.

“Last night was a bit tough, because there was a terrible storm and we were all soaked. One tent was even blown away. But we did have a good time”, says spokesperson Douwe. “Now it is great, the wind is still strong but the sun is shining, and we are handing out flyers”.

Spending the night at the Museumplein was a spontaneous initiative of students who participated in yesterday’s demonstration, organised by students’ unions and youth wings of political parties.

“People in Belarus are taking a considerable risk by protesting against dictator Lukashenko”, says Douwe. “A momentum has come about. In a way, it is now or never. We want to let the activists in Belarus know that their cause is getting attention in other countries”. Protests are held in Berlin and Warsaw as well.

The young protesters have a permit to keep their tents at the Museumplein untill tomorrow evening. They intend to keep it up for at least a week. “We expect that the permit will be extended, it is for a good cause after all. If not, then we will have to see what we do”.

The students at the Museumplein form the home front of a group of young people who are travelling to Minsk by bus, with the ultimate goal of meeting Lukashenko. “Chances that they will actually manage to cross the border are slim, of course, but they will try in any case”.

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